Monday, June 18, 2012

June 4, 2012


And Happy Sweet 16 Erica! (When did that happen!? I just turned 16 like yesterday.) Hmm... In Finnish that might translate to: "Onnelista suloista kuusitoista, Erica!" Anyways...

Great week. Got off to a crazy start with the Russian sisters still here (all of whom are originally from America... They serve in the mission that covers Siberia... sounds even colder than Finland!) and Sisar Braegger left for Jyväskylä on Tuesday and then Sisar Shreeve came into Helsinki with Sisar McBride, who finished her mission and flew home on Thursday! So things were a little crazy and we had a full house for a while, but it was so much fun. Said goodbye to the Russian sisters on Wednesday and to Sisar McBride on Thursday, so Sisar Shreeve and I finally returned to normality on Friday... which left us with a pretty short week, but we were still able to get 20 teaches in. The Lord really is blessing us for our efforts here.

The week got off to a pretty exciting start. It was our last P-day activity together as a district--we hiked the highest point in Helsinki (which took maybe 5 or 10 mintues...Finland never was known for being very mountainous) and played a game of ultimate frisbee afterwards. And to end it all, one of the elders got hit in the face with a frisbee... so that was the end of the change :) Haha, he's doing fine, so don't worry, although he did get to wear a cool pirate eye-patch for a couple of days. It was kind of a funny way to end things.

The new district seems pretty cool as well. At district meeting on Friday, one of the elders said "Welcome to the retirement home!" I didn't understand what he meant at first, but apparently we're the oldest district in the mission (based on number of transfers we've all been in the mission.) It was so hard to believe--here I am in this room with a bunch of people who were all considered super young in the mission not that long ago (myself included.) Time is such a wierd thing. They added it up, and I think it came out to be a total of 78 or so changes between 4 companionships. Wierd.

Sunday was a great way to end the week. Finally got to see Sini and Kai after not being able to all week! When I asked Sini about her week she began to cry as she talked about what a difficult week it was. I hugged her and offered her some words of comfort that my own mother gave me (although I had to translate it into Finnish): Crying is a good thing, tears actually have a healing quality to them (something to that effect.) I hope she was able to feel that she is loved. She is so dear to me, and of all the friends I've made on the mission, she is the one I hope to remain life long friends with. Not too much longer till Kai's baptism! We also had a great teach with the daughter of the recent convert that we've been teaching for a while. She is doing so well, and we just found out that her dad is hoping for the baptism to happen the same weekend as Kai's! So we'll see how it all works out. It would be cool if it happens on the same weekend, but also pretty crazy. Her father is such a stalwart member. We met them at the train station before the teach, and we heard this voice call out to us: "Sisters!" He motioned for us to come over to him where he was talking to a man about the Book of Mormon. We gave the man a copy, and as we all walked away, I told him "well done!" He replied something to the effect of: "Well, it's the sabbath. I thought I'd be about my Father's work." Wow. What an amazing example.

Well, we've got another exciting week ahead of us. Mission conference is tomorrow!!! I'm sure it will be a great experience.

Have fun at girl's camp! (And a great, yellow week to everyone else!)

Sisar Shaw

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